Frederick Bywaters was convicted of murder after admitting to the brutal stabbing of Percy Thompson, the husband of his lover Edith Thompson. In an extremely controversial decision, Edith was also convicted of her husband’s murder, even though Bywaters himself claimed that Edith had had nothing to do with it. Public sympathy for Edith could not prevent her execution, which was carried out at the same time as her former lover’s. Who had witnessed the murder and fingered Bywaters as the culprit? Discuss
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At the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876, American Indian forces led by Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull soundly defeated US Lt. Col. George Custer in what would come to be known as “Custer’s Last Stand.” Six months later, Crazy Horse made a final stand of his own. At Wolf Mountain in Montana, he and his men engaged US Cavalry forces in harsh winter weather, despite being outnumbered, weak, and starving. Though he had been prepared to negotiate peace, something changed his mind—what? Discuss
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In the dangerous, early days of balloon flight, French inventor Jean-Pierre Blanchard became the first person to travel across the English Channel by air. Not long after, another pair of balloonists attempted to repeat this feat, but the two were killed when their balloon exploded. Blanchard himself eventually died in a ballooning accident, and his widow suffered a similar fate about a decade later. With what useless objects did Blanchard attempt to steer his balloon during early flights?
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Shortly before the 1994 Winter Olympics, Kerrigan was clubbed in the knee in an attack that had been planned by the ex-husband of Tonya Harding, one of Kerrigan’s rivals for a place on the US Olympic team. Footage of Kerrigan’s reaction to the attack was replayed heavily on television, and the story became a media sensation. Despite the injury, Kerrigan won an Olympic silver medal. Harding also performed, but poorly. Kerrigan’s image suffered after she made what remarks about the gold medalist? Discuss
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From 1975 to 1981, the Yorkshire area of England was terrorized by a string of murders. Though hundreds of investigators worked to find the killer, they were hampered by false leads, and the case generated so much paperwork that real clues were buried. After Sutcliffe was arrested for having stolen license plates, police noticed his similarity to the killer. What item found in a victim’s purse allowed investigators to narrow down the search to a group of 8,000 people—one that included Sutcliffe?
Continue reading “Peter Sutcliffe Charged in the “Yorkshire Ripper” Case (1981)”